Divisive politics in the workplace: President Tina Hamilton offers LVB.com expert advice
In a recent article posted in Lehigh Valley Business‘s online publication, LVB.com, myHR Partner President Tina Hamilton, PHR, shared her expert commentary on the subject of post-election tension in the workplace. Looking back over the past five months since the very divisive 2016 presidential election, LVB.com examined how clashes over political beliefs continues to take a toll on morale and productivity in some workplaces in the Greater Lehigh Valley.
Hamilton contended that a workplace ban on political discussions would be impractical and could make the environment more stressful, not less. “[Employers] should not be throwing down hard-core policies about what people can talk about and what they can’t,” she said. “People are very passionate; everybody knows what they believe in. Especially as things get worse, it’s getting harder not to be political.”
Hamilton also offered some spot-on advice to employers dealing with political tensions in their workplaces:
STRESSING OVER THE NEWS
Hamilton said she understands the stress and anxiety many workers are feeling. It’s not only between co-workers with differing opinions, it’s also felt from those who follow the news cycle.
“I take a deep breath and look on my iPad every morning and wonder what happened while I was sleeping. What was tweeted?” she said.
“If you’re feeling stressed, most likely your employees might be, too,” Hamilton said. “It might be appearing as a performance issue. It might just be there’s tension. You could be noticing things are ‘off.’”
People are feeling uneasy, Hamilton said, and businesses need to be aware of it.
“At a staff meeting you could say, ‘Hey, you’re all feeling stressed. It’s a stressful time in America. The best thing we can do is collaborate as a team and support each other,’” she said.
(The article “Post-election tension spills into workplace” can be found on the LVB.com website.)
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